Friday, January 19, 2007

More Epping Road

I did my first painting from the winter photographs of Epping Road this afternoon. I am very happy despite my fear that I wouldn't do them justice. Before I began, I made myself finish the last Fall picture I had started several weeks ago. It was rather drab, but I managed to revive it and it looks fine. I worked on it while the paint dried on the prepared paper for the winter one. Instead of using red, I used blue in order to reinforce the feeling of coldness. I used three different blues, starting with Cerulean at the top, then Cobalt, then Ultramarine. I thought it might give a subtle sense of distance, but I'm not sure it did. Using blue was a good idea, I think, but I cover the paper so thoroughly with pastel I doubt the different colors made much difference. The appearance of distance comes from the use of perspective and the colors of the pastel. I did another piece of paper when I did this one, so the next one will have the same ground, but after that I'll try just one color and see if I can perceive a difference.
I was home all day again today with myself and the dogs my only company. My appointment in Harrington was canceled because Alice was sick, so I was left with a day I hadn't planned on. The weather was supposed to be stormy, but all it did was rain. It was warm and much of the snow we had melted. There's another snowstorm predicted for tomorrow, though, so it may not be gone for long. I went to the bank and to the grocery store, then filled the car with gas before coming back to the house. I felt strange out there in the world. I have spent so much time home alone that everything seemed foreign and a little hostile. I was glad to get inside and spend the afternoon with my painting, the smell of roast beef in the air. I splurged on a nice piece of meat, knowing that it would last me all week. When it was done and cold, I sliced off a thin piece to check for doneness and tasted it. It is delicious and I look forward to making it the mainstay of my diet for several days.

When I decided to cook the meat in the middle of the afternoon, it struck me that I have changed my habits drastically since I kept house as a wife and mother. Never would I have prepared a roast randomly in the afternoon and then cut into it before the meal. Somehow nothing could be touched until it was on a plate surrounded by companion foods. It was placed on a table with proper silverware. It was commented apon and relished. Eating was a ritual to be focused on and appreciated. Now I eat whenever I feel the urge, usually in front of the TV, often out of the same pan the food was cooked in. I use and enjoy my silver, but it is incongruously scraping against plastic storage dishes or microwave-safe packages from the store. I rarely make what I used to consider a "meal" with various healthful components. I plan to use the roast beef to make sandwiches. It's what I always liked best about having a roast, but then I called it leftovers. We get into patterns of thought and behavior that seem like the only way to do things.........and then we realize we can break out of them.
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